And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said,
“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,
you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
Whoever humbles himself like this child
is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
I wasn't ready to have children when I found out I was pregnant with my four year old daughter, Eden. In fact, there was a period of time I wasn't sure I wanted children at all; not because I didn't like them, but because I knew what a great responsibility it was to be a mother. Having a child didn't fit into my lifestyle, my income, my career, my dreams...Me, Me, Me! I was all about me.
I remember taking the test, and when I read the results, I was dumbfounded. Instantly, my mind began churning with thoughts about the future. Not just mine, but this little life inside me. I began to look at my life and see all the ways I was unfit to be a mother. I began seeing all of my faults, all of my mistakes, all of the things that were about to change for me. But something else happened that very instant. I felt the stir in my heart that had been stirring notably for about four months before this moment, and it was a stir that I could no longer swallow down. It was the call of God, calling me back to Him. This little tiny thing, no bigger than a black-eyed-pea living inside of me sparked a new life for me. And step by step, sometimes leaps and bounds, I have been walking closer and closer to Him. I feel so alive with His Spirit! God speaks softly, my friends, but He speaks in ways we cannot ignore (trying is futile!). He puts things in our lives that will get our attention, and He is patiently waiting for us to finally cry out, "Yes, Lord!"
Now, I can't imagine my life without this beautiful gift. She continually challenges me (sometimes in not very fun ways) and God teaches me beautiful lessons in how to be a Godly mother through my desire for her to be a Godly child. One of these lessons: Prayer.
We are in routine of praying at meal time, before we go to sleep, when someone calls and asks us to pray for them, when we are afraid of thunderstorms or the dark, when we need to ask forgiveness for a sin, and really just any ole' time the Spirit moves us to prayer. (I know it sounds like we pray all the time, but we still have room to grow!) My method in "teaching" my children how to pray was simply just doing it. Being the example of how to pray, holding hands in a circle and praying heart-felt prayers. Just a few months ago, I began asking Eden if she wanted to lead the prayers. At first, she was timid, praying in a whisper so no one could hear her. But the more she was asked to pray, the more comfortable she got, and the more she learned she was talking to her Father and that she could just say whatever was on her mind! I was witnessing her Heavenly relationship develop through her prayers! One day, before a big family dinner my mom had prepared, Eden asked if she could say the prayer. Of course! We all held hands, bowed our heads, and she began, "Dear Lord. Thank you for this day. Thank you for the thunderstorms, even though I'm really scared of them. Thank you for the rain and the beautiful flowers, and Lord, Thank You for these Yummy Yummy Biscuits! In Jesus Name, Amen!" And with that, she took a big bite of that warm homemade biscuit with such joy!
Eden reminds me that prayers don't have to be filled with flowery language or a slew of "thees and thous". They aren't a series of memorized phrases we mindlessly say out of habit, but they should be an earnest conversation with our Lord, just like this precious child's prayer! It reminds me that I'm not praying for an audience of men, but an audience with a King who can see my heart and who loves me anyway! Thank You, Lord, for such a wise teacher!